How Changing Your Habits Can Change Your Life

June 4, 2019

Many students have had their fair share of bad habits, unfortunately. The worst part about finally trying to change habits is that it is easier said than done. Whether it is procrastinating, studying at the last minute, biting nails, or drinking more coffee than you should be, habits are sometimes stuck to your hand like gum is to the bottom of a desk. However, persisting through bad habits and resisting the urge to regress to your old ways deserves some applause. Anyone with habits knows how tempting it is to revert to old methods. Here are some potential results of breaking the cycle of habits and how they can help you turn the page:

 

Photo: Drew Beamer on Unsplash  

 

Effectiveness

If you are a student, then bad habits can come in many forms. However, those related to academics are among the worst. If you can overcome bad habits of procrastinating or putting off studying until the last minute, you may realize your potential to “overachieve” by doing stellar work on assignments. It’s a realization that putting in the effort to try hard means receiving great results. In addition, sleeping late due to getting caught up on the phone or on Netflix may result in a bit more coffee the following morning to stay awake. However, making strides to get enough sleep a night (not saying nine, but at least six) can result in breaking a bad coffee or caffeine habit in the morning. You can stay refreshed throughout the day without needing any stimulants to jumpstart your energy.

 

A New Perspective

As mentioned before, habits such as procrastinating or last minute studying are potentially detrimental, but breaking them can provide a new perspective on academic life. Being able to realize that possibly your best work can come from more effort should be encouraging and rewarding as you are in the driver’s seat to succeed at what you want. This may apply to breaking certain habits when in sports, clubs, and jobs as well as academics. Eliminating habits in many aspects of your life can provide a different approach when engaging in different activities.

 

Motivation

Breaking a bad habit may be like overcoming a significant obstacle, which can be true. Breaking one bad habit can be motivation to end a few more, though. Some big bad habits could be sleeping in too much, arriving late to a class, or more significantly, too much phone usage. Phones are quite possibly the go-to item when bored, before going to sleep, waking up, being on the bus, or basically sitting anywhere with some down-time. However, glancing up from the screen time to time can help you observe life, and maybe even give yourself time to think and plan instead of being immersed in your phone (though it is tempting). The bigger the habit, the harder it is for it to go away. Nevertheless, should you finally get rid of it, it feels like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and it’s a stepping stone to be confident that anything can be achieved with the right mindset.

 

Habits are strong and lingering, but never doubt your abilities to make a change for the better. There will be urges and obstacles in life, but you can grow from these habits and make yourself stronger. Without habits, you don’t experience and visualize the ways you can make yourself a better person. However, finally ending a habit can result in confidence and positivity because of knowing you can conquer any bad habits you have, no matter how long you have had them. So, make sure not to procrastinate and consider thinking of your own habits and see what you can do to put yourself in the best position to achieve your goals.

 

Rishi Patel is a senior majoring in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has written as an intern for SPORTalk and Study Breaks Magazine. He also loves to write fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as a hobby to expand his writing prowess. He hopes to work as a writer/editor when he graduates.

 

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